Life Plans and Success

Last night I attended the Refresh Phoenix speaking event featuring Pam Slim, author of the blog Escape from Cubical Nation. Pam focuses on transitioning corporate employees to the freedom of entrepreneurship, and gives us some simple steps to freeing ourselves from the bonds of the cubical.  

  1. Create your life plan: Visualize where you want to be and what kind of life you want.
  2. Find your passion: What do you love to do and are great at?
  3. Find your market: Who do you want to help and market to?
  4. Execute and Implement: Don’t focus on making it perfect, just start working on it.

Pam instructs that your life plan should always guide the rest of your decisions regarding making the rest of the decisions regarding your new business or career. Make sure to always regroup and say to yourself, “Does this help me get to where I want to be?”  

Regarding selecting a passion and a market Pam says to truly be happy in your new career you should only accept “projects you would do if no one paid you.” This insures that you won’t be overworked and will be able to truly enjoy the life plan you’ve set out as your goal. Joshua Strebel, owner of Obu Web Technologies, suggested to double or even triple your prices to create value of your service as well as to be able to hand select the cream of the crop of your clientele. Pam related this comment with that of high school romance. “If you seem desperate no one will want to date (work with) you. Being secure in your value and turning away clients will make clients see value and be drawn to you.” 

Pam discussed team building and how to successfully build a great support team. She suggests finding a balance between your “big picture thinking” by finding employees who are detailed oriented to compliment you. She warns to not select employees that are exactly like you. If you have trouble on trying to find excellent employees, try finding a mentor in your field that is just a few steps above you in their business and ask for guidance. She sited Bruce Tuckman’s Four Stages of Team Building as a good model to follow as well as mentioning real value in Myers & Briggs personality inventories as good ways to find a truly balanced group. 

Pam also touched on making sure that you keep with your life plan, don’t feel pressured to work a straight eight hours because that’s how you were “taught to work in the corporate environment.” Make sure you take the time to do what you set out to do in your life plan so as to not burn out. Also, during the course of your business, feel free to take a time out and make sure your business is aligned with your life plan. 

I really enjoyed Pam and her opinions, and even though I may never start my own business, I feel a lot of the discussion can help people shape their careers, regardless of whether or not they’re self-employed. 🙂 Thanks Pam!!

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This little blog happens to be the personal ramblings of one April Holle - I'm female, outspoken, webbie, a community evangelist, and Principal of Made Better Studio. Check out the about section for more info.

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